How to Sort Your Outlook Inbox by Email Account

Multiple email accounts in Outlook? No problem. Here's how to sort them.

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You can see all your mail in one Outlook inbox and still have it grouped or sorted by the account at which you received each message.

Is Your Outlook Inbox a Mess?

If you access multiple POP email accounts with Outlook, I am sure you have been suffering from the Inbox jumble syndrome. Outlook delivers all new mail to the Inbox folder indiscriminately and makes it hard to guess which email arrived where.

 

While setting up Outlook to deliver mail to different inboxes is a bit cumbersome, you can sort (or group) the Inbox by account (and then by date, for example) easily. It's not ideal, but at least all messages that belong together are together.

Sort Your Outlook Inbox by Email Account

To sort or group the emails in your Outlook inbox by the email account at which you received them:

  1. Open the View ribbon in your main Outlook inbox.
    • ​See below for including IMAP and Exchange inboxes in your view.
  2. Click View Settings in the Current View section.
  3. Now click Group By….
  4. Make sure Automatically group according to arrangement is not checked.
  5. Now make sure All Mail fields is selected under Select available fields from:.
  6. Select E-mail Account under Group Items by.
    • ​Typically, you can leave Show field in view unchecked.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Now click Sort….
  9. Select how messages should be sorted within the account groups; you can sort them by Received date, for instance, From or Size.
  1. Click OK.

With the Outlook reading pane disabled or at the bottom, you can use column headers to change the sort order within account groups.

Fake a Unified Inbox Folder in Outlook

Do you wish to include all IMAP and Exchange accounts in your inbox—grouped now so well by account—as well? While Outlook lacks a true unified inbox, you can get something approaching it using a quick search (or even a simple VBA macro)

To collect all mail from your various IMAP, Exchange and PST (POP) inboxes in one (search results) folder with Outlook:

  1. Press Ctrl-E in Outlook Mail.
    • ​You can also click in the Search Current Mailbox field above the message list.
  2. Type "folder:(inbox)"; exclude the quotation marks.
  3. Click Current Mailbox next to the search field.
  4. Select All Mailboxes from the drop-down menu that has appeared.

The current view settings will be applied. If grouping by account is in effect, results from all your Outlook inboxes will be grouped by account. You can also change the view settings as outlined above, of course.

Sort Your Outlook Inbox by Email Account in Outlook 2003/7

To sort the emails in your Outlook Inbox by the account through which they were received:

  1. Select View | Current View | Customize Current View... or View | Arrange By | Current View | Customize Current View... from the menu.
  2. Click the Sort button.
  3. Make sure All Mail Fields is selected under Select available fields from: at the bottom of the dialog that comes up.
  4. Now choose E-mail Account from the Sort items by drop-down menu.
  5. Optionally, select criteria for further sorting using the Then by fields.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click OK again.

(Updated March 2016, tested with Outlook 2016)